Thursday, July 31, 2003

    I honestly look like the walking wounded right now. Going for a foul ball Tuesday night, I apparently got what could be best described as a "dirt burn" from sliding in a hard dirt surface on my right forearm. There's a spot about the size of a quarter an inch from my elbow that dripped blood for the rest of the games (two, the rest of that one and we had one immedately after), then proceded to turn ghost white at last look in the shower. It's got a tail that goes about halfway down my forearm, which means I've got this cool gauze-type bandage wrapped around my forearm that brings back favorable memories of "Cowboy" Bob Orton. If you have to ask who Bob Orton is, don't worry about it.

    I've got other injuries too. Pulled muscles, bruises, everything like that, but I'm having a lot of fun out there playing softball. We played four games this week in three days. What does that mean to you, the loyal reader? A lack of updates, with the exception of statistics, damned statistics.

    Trust me though, the 10 Job Challenge is going to be an interesting look into the job search. It's going to be a huge article, and I hope it gets some nice hits.

    Anyway, we played two games Tuesday night and one more Wednesday night. I caught all the games, so that's why I'm bitching about the injuries. But, I hit well, which is a positive. I keep moving up in the order, so that means that someone's watching. Five hits in those three games, including one that almost tied up the game in the bottom of the 7th (the runner was thrown out at home, otherwise we would have tied and I would have been the winning run at second, which would have been a major upset.)

      G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG
    10 24 9 13 1 0 0 5 2 0 5 0 .542 .621 .583

Monday, July 28, 2003

    The 10 Job Challenge is running well, and as expected, the responces started to come today instead of Friday. I've currently got three interviews scheduled this week, with another of the ten pretty much assured an interview. How this will all play out, I'm not sure, but it's at least nice to know I'm somewhat wanted. However, at the same time, having not gotten a response from the other five (number 10 is scheduled to be faxed tomorrow), I'm assuming that those are pretty much dead in the water. While a response Friday afternoon wasn't to be expected, nothing on Monday as well implies that they're probably not going to get in contact at all.

    The article itself regarding the 10 Job Challenge is going to be pretty huge. I'm putting a LOT of content into it, so that you readers can see exactly where I'm coming from and have the exact same knowledge I had before I sent out these applications.

    Softball reared its ugly head again tonight, but this time, I wasn't so lucky. The team lost again (as does happen), but despite me hitting the ball solid twice, I went hitless. The stats:

     G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG
    7 16 5 8 0 0 0 4 2 0 4 0 .500 .600 .500

Thursday, July 24, 2003

    Yet another edition of the Southampton Press came out today, which is pretty much my sole lead to jobs in this area. Sent out weekly every Thursday to subscribers, it features local news and a decent classified section that, for the most part, isn't littered with the typical "scam jobs" (ie. "Make money from home" and other jobs that direct you to a 1-800 number). Looking through it and not seeing anything that overly jumped out to me, I realized that this job search thing was hitting a dead end the way I was going about it. So, I had to try something different.

    Enter the 10 Job Challenge.

    This Friday, I will attempt to send off 10 resumes to ten different companies offering positions to which I should be able to perform reasonably well. They may not be interesting jobs, or jobs I would normally send a resume to, but they (obviously) have to be jobs that I would accept if given the opportunity and do my damnest to be the best I can be at the particular position.

    The Press didn't look too bad this week, so more info will come later. However, softball once again entered the picture tonight as we lost a tough game, 21-14. We gave up eight runs in the bottom of the sixth, to make a reasonable 3 run defecit into a 11 run hole, and despite getting four more runs in the top of the 7th, we took the loss.

    I, however, had a damn good game at the plate, and not a horrible one in the field. I started at first tonight, my first action at first this season (making starts at 1B, 2B, and C this season). I got on base four times in four times to the plate, driving in two, scoring twice, and even stealing a base (whether it can really be determined a steal is questionable considering there was no effort made to throw me out, but I'll take it anyway). That puts the current stats at:

     G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG
    6 14 5 8 0 0 0 4 2 0 4 0 .571 .667 .571

Monday, July 21, 2003

    Sorry about the lack of quality updates recently. I really haven't been inspired to write anything, and when I do write, I just sort of fade out, and can't concentrate on what I was writing. I don't know even if the last update made any sense, but it's up there, so whatever.

    I did receive some depressing news driving around looking for NCAA Football 2004 Sunday. I went to Game Express in Garden City, a place I frequented quite often when I was in college, and still made an effort to go see when I was around, even if I had no money. Unfortunately, I found Game Express to be completely closed and emptied out. The signs were still on the building and on the sign at the roadway, but they were definitely gone for good.

    Game Express was the easiest way for me to get import video games when I was at school. As for regular video games, they had excellent prices that almost always beat any other store, and had a collection of older games for systems usually not carried by "major" stores. Game Express is where I got my old Sega Saturn, and got Fire Pro Wrestling 6 Man Scramble, possibly the greatest wrestling video game of all time.

    Goodbye old friend. You could have told me you were leaving.

    Oh, and we got killed in softball tonight. I started at catcher, got pulled from the field when we changed pitchers, and ended up going to second in the 7th because our second baseman really didn't know what the hell he was doing. The ump was really bad tonight (and with a more serious team following us in the second game, I'm sure that would have been interesting to see their reactions to some of those calls), but I managed to keep the strikeout-free streak alive. Granted, I couldn't hit a ball out of the infield in two at-bats, but considering the strikes I was getting called against me (two below the knees), I consider it a moral victory.

     G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG
    5 12 3 6 0 0 0 2 1 0 2 0 .500 .571 .500

Saturday, July 19, 2003

    My wife (whom recently redesigned her site, check it out) is very active on one particular message board. On there, they not only go on about the actual topic of the message board, but they go into discussions about just about anything.

    One topic that Tara was telling me about that I actually took an interest in was the use of profanity and how it affects some people. Again, the views on this went all over the place, from those who felt that the use of a "curse word" didn't hurt anyone to those who felt that the use of vulgarity ruined the message board for them, and is a sign of "stupidity".

    I have a tendency to curse a decent amount when I speak. I know when it's not appropriate (around children, old people, etc), and in my case, it happens a lot more in certain situations (like driving) than others. I also don't curse a lot when I write. When you write, you have a lot of time, generally, to think out what you're saying, and therefore can think of the best way to say what you want to without offending anyone and making your content acceptable to anyone who might come across it.

    However, "curse" words are just words, and have as much value as any other word. What makes "asshole" any worse than "sphincter" has been completely lost on me, except that your parents made sure that you never said the former, and just looked at you strangely when you said the latter. To say that choosing one word over another shows how intellegent someone is depends on the word, and even then, it still comes off snobbish. You can be a gifted scientist without a good vocabulary. At the same time, you can speak well and be a toal idiot.

    It's kind of funny that people will hold their language skills as their true sign of intellegence. Of course, it's funnier when people who think that actually have a horrible vocabulary and try to compensate by using large words they don't know the meaning of in their daily communication. That's funny.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

    Well, I had yet another interview yesterday. I could complain, but to be honest, I've had a good amount of interviews recently, which is a good sign, at least in regards to jobs. Or, maybe I'm being less picky, and I'm sending resumes to people who I normally wouldn't. Eh, whatever. We'll see what happens with this one.

    I'm eventually working on a review of one of the things that takes a lot of my time right now, the OOTP5 baseball sim. Outside of that, I've got a few more things that may be showing up within the next few days, but until then, they'll have to wait.

    There was a decent flurry of baseball trades going on recently, in actual baseball, and in my fantasy league. While the major league deals may have some people questioning motives, you can almost always guarantee someone pointing a finger and bitching about favortism or lopsidedness in fantasy league trades, especially when the deadline starts drawing near and teams declare themselves out of the race and start building for next year (like I had to).

    Our league is in a massive (forgive the term) jumblefuck right now. We've run into situations before where certain owners didn't necessarily get along and weren't always civil towards each other (ok, maybe I was involved in most of those), but this past day or two, things have been getting really vicious and nasty, and for once, I've got nothing to do with it, and lord knows I'm staying out of it (at least directly, who knows who reads this site).

    Anyway, while all the bitching was going on with the league, I was stealing some HTML and doing a little something creative with my fantasy league baseball team. Check out a bunch of stolen HTML and a little creativity. See? I knew I could be a sportswriter.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

    Trying to get back on the bandwagon again, I'm starting an early update today, in an effort to not blow off another day of updates.

    In less than three hours, I'm going to be beginning the process to enter the Bridgehampton Fire Department. With my impending move and the length of time it takes to actually go through the process of becoming a fireman to actually being one, the thought was that it'd be best to start now, while the time was right.

    If you wonder why this should have any significance, check out the first article I wrote for, called "Where's The Fire?". In it, I describe my frustration with the local fire districts and the seemingly bizarre practice of the districts complaining about a lack of membership, yet making it overly difficult for someone to join. The Improper Hamptonian newspaper/magazine that I reference in that article doesn't have the story that they wrote about the subject archives, but then again, the whole Hamptonian has down downhill recently, going from witty satire about the surroundings to just being another Dan's Papers knockoff making jokes at the most extreme of stereotypes while making sure not to really offend anyone of value (especially potential advertisers).

    In other news, I came across a good article that was written a few months ago about Jay Buhner and his life now in retirement. The article, "Buhner Still Creating A Whole Lot Of Buzz", was written by Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (horrible name for a news paper; is "intelligencer" even a word?), and doesn't exactly probe deeply into Buhner's life, but it's a nice story on his continued relationship with the fans in Seattle and some of the things he's doing now.

    I took some screenshots for another review that I'll be doing in the near future, so that's something to look forward too. Outside of that, we'll see what happens.

Monday, July 14, 2003

    After responding to the tons of emails I got in regards to the Baker thing below (ok, I only got one email), I took a break from the page and relaxed. I'm still pretty much on relax mode, with nothing much to write about, but in order to write something, I'll continue to write about my exploits on the fastpitch softball field.

    It was a banner day today as I managed to hit well AND do so with the media there. So, it looks like I'll actually pick up the local Sag Harbor paper whenever it comes out (I'm assuming Thursday) and if I'm in there (picture or not) maybe I'll scan something in there.

    Anyway, four hits (and a walk) in six times to the plate for me, along with a walk and a hit in two times to bat in the second game of a doubleheader. The walks are good, because I've been lacking the confidence at the plate, and I had a few decent hits, including a nice shot into right field which would have been at least a double had the ball been an inch lower. So the statistics look like this:

     G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG
    4 10 3 6 0 0 0 2 1 0 2 0 .600 .666 .600

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

    Have to love professional sports people. Generally the least educated people who are constantly asked to make comments to media, the things that come out of their mouths sometimes are fascinating.

    Take, for instance, the words of Dusty Baker, manager of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs, taken from an article:

    Baker, in his first year as Cubs manager, delved into heat and skin color when talking to reporters Saturday, saying black and Hispanic players hold up better under the summer sun and heat.

    "It's easier for most Latin guys and it's easier for most minority people because most of us come from heat. You don't find too many brothers in New Hampshire and Maine and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Right?" he said with a chuckle.

    "We were brought over here for the heat, right? Isn't that history? Weren't we brought over because we could take the heat?"

    "Your skin color is more conducive to heat than it is to the lighter-skinned people. I don't see brothers running around burnt," Baker said before the Cubs beat St. Louis at Wrigley. "That's a fact. I'm not making this up. I'm not seeing some brothers walking around with some white stuff on their ears and noses."

    These comments were made Sunday. Comments like these have gotten people fired from jobs and been the cause of public outrage. "Non-politically correct" comments from people such as John Rocker have turned athletes into hated bigots and racists, despite any prior actions. So, is Baker on the hotseat? Is his job in jeopardy? Is this even a major news story? Not at all, simply because Baker is black. Society has deemed it appropriate for pig-headed and insensitive comments to be acceptable if the person making the comments is making them about his or her own race, creed, or conviction. John Rocker makes negative comments about New Yorkers, people with AIDS, and unwed mothers and he's in a press conference the next day begging for forgiveness about things he may or may not really have even meant (I have my own theories about that.) However, it's doubtful that anything will be done in reaction to Baker's comments (Rocker was originally suspended for the entire length of spring training and the first four weeks of the regular season, with a $20,000 fine, but that was later reduced). Outside of discussion on some radio talk shows, the story is pretty much dead.

    The little bit of irony/coincidence mixed into this whole story is how the name Al Campanis plays into it. Campanis, who himself was a player, was the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1968-1987, where during the course of his tenure with the club, he traded for one Dusty Baker. Campanis, who spent almost half his life working in baseball in some aspect, saw his career come to an end one night after making comments on an episode of ABC's "Nightline". Campanis, being asked why he felt there were so few black people as managers and executives in baseball, stated that he felt that black people "lacked the necessities" to be able to be successful managers and executives. These comments, deemed racist, caused a PR nightmare for the Dodgers, who immedately fired their general manager of the last twenty years.

    While Baker's comments aren't insulting like Campanis' and Rocker's comments, they all share something in common: stupidity. Baker's implication that black (and latino) people are better than white players dealing with heat implies that blacks and latinos are somehow geneticly different than whites, which is an implication that people have been trying to overcome for hundreds of years. And while Baker may stand behind his statements all he likes, it still doesn't change the fact that if a white manager had made the exact same comment, it'd be front page news, and they'd be asking for his head on a platter.

    Equality is great my friends, but the good has to be taken with the bad. Equality isn't getting rid of all the negatives of being "different" while keeping all the positives. Equality is exactly what it is; treating everyone like everyone else, regardless of what they look like, where they come from, and what they worship.

    And that, apparently, will never happen, because people don't want to make sacrafices for the greater good. Sad, really.

Monday, July 07, 2003

    As expected, the job that I interviewed for twice (and if I do say so myself, I nailed them both) went to someone else. I got word today, and although it's extremely disappointing, it's not totally unexpected. It's not that I didn't think that I was qualified for the job, but just that I've gotten to be so negative regarding employment that I refuse to think things otherwise until I'm actually filling out a W-4.

    This one I thought was a given. My last four jobs all worked to my advantage for this job, as all gave me valuable experience for the job that I was being interviewed for. This job didn't fall into one of the usual "toruble" areas that I run into with other jobs like this, which are:

    Overqualified - Employers may feel that hiring me for the position won't fill it for a long period of time, since I would likely move onto a better position once one opened up. The "overqualified" term can also be a negative when it comes to salary. A college graduate makes more than a high school graduate, and a college graduate with job experience may seem too "pricey" for potential employers, who wish to fill a position with a less qualified employee to justify a lower wage.

    Underqualified - Probably better described as "lacking experience", while I have job experience, I don't necessarily have the number of years doing one particular thing that some employers look for to fill a position. Over the past few years, jobs have had me doing help desk, computer maintinence, human resources, data entry, writing documentation, retail management, non-retail management, among other things. Why a person is more attractive who does data entry for five years than a person who can obviously do more than that is beyond me, but I'm not a hiring manager (obviously).

    Too young - The fact that I'm under 30 scares off a lot of employers in regards to management positions. People (especially those who have been working at jobs "lower on the ladder" for an extended period of time) tend to be less "supportive" of coworkers put in a position of authority when that authority figure is younger than them. Regardless of education or job experience (I had 8 employees under me at the age of 20), this still scares off employers.

    Too old - So-called "entry level" positions are generally lower paying, but provide the opportunity for a company to develop a young person right out of college in that company's "style", making that employee someone they can develop towards years of future employment. The person generally hired to fill this position is fresh out of college, 21-23 years of age. Being closer to 30 than I am to 20 (and actually having job experience), I'm not as easily developable (if that's even a word) and not an "entry-level" guy.

    So, none of thse were the case, and I still didn't get the job. What the hell else can I do? Who knows.

    For the record, we got stomped in our softball game tonight. I only got technically one at-bat, thanks to the mercy rule coming up and the final out being made on a stolen base attempt as I had two strikes on me. I think we got three hits total, and I wasn't one of them (although I didn't strike out, which I can't say for most of the rest of the team. So, that puts my line like this for the season:

     G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG
    2 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250

Thursday, July 03, 2003

    For the reader or two who actually visits this site, you've noticed a lack of updating. Well, between the wife and me, we've been pretty sick lately, so the website, unfortunately, hasn't been my first priority. I really don't have any new articles or anything to post now, but I did want to throw something up here to let you know that I'm still alive and still care about the site, etc.

    I'll also admit that I have been doing a little work on another webpage on the domain. What's funny about it is that it's a decently large website; 36 HTML pages in it, last count. Yet, there always has to be one that complains about it. I do it for free, for the benefit of others, and yet some people take the stand of complaining that it wasn't updated frequently enough. Granted, I didn't update it for an extended period of time, but said complainer was pretty much the reason. My point? Gift horses, man. If someone is giving you something that normally costs money for free, do you complain that it's the wrong color or isn't perfect? Eh, maybe it's just me.

    Really extended news thing today, as I haven't had time to say anything in over a week. The FAQ has been rewritten (in the About Us section), so that those who have questions have a little bit more to reference. It explains our submission policy, how the site got started, the whole "Buhner" thing, and a few more things. As you know, any questions that you might have will still get answered if you drop an email to

    Also contributing to the lack of updates has been the fact that I've had two interviews this week regarding a job in Southampton. The first interview went great, and I thin kthe second interview went well too, so hopefully... yeah. I should know something by Monday.

    I also switched my insurance coverage. Yeah, not overly important, but you see the commercials for Geico all the time, and they swear they can save you money. For once, advertising didn't lie. Geico lowered my premiums 36%, which saved me a ton of money. It's worth a look just to go over to their website. You can get a quote online and see if you can save anything.

    Last thing is that softball season has finally started again. Thanks to rainouts, forfeits, and me being sick, last night was my first start of the season. Oddly enough, I made the start at second (instead of my usual position of catcher) and made it work. I made some really good plays at second (including a diving catch) and felt really comfortable there. Plus, my knees really thanked me. I went 1-3 with a run scored, but it could have easily been 0-3. Have to work on the hitting.

     G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG
    1 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333